There are so many types of yoga around these days that it can be hard to know what's what and so many yoga studios and independent teachers that you just don't know where to start.
So here's some basic advice to get started.
Ask yourself what you wish to gain from yoga.
Is it physical fitness with super flexibility? If so, try a beginners Ashtanga class or Power Yoga. Vinyasa Flow may also be quite vigorous but you will need to ask the teacher about the pace fo the class.
Would you prefer a detailed breakdown of each pose with attention to alignment and safety throughout as the main focus? Try an Iyengar class.
Do you want more or less the same routine every time so that you can easily begin to practice at home? An Ashtanga Yoga class or Sivananda Yoga class will always feature the same routine. Ashtanga will be more demanding while Sivananda will be much more basic with more emphasis on meditation and spirituality.
Are you looking for some spiritual content, yoga philosophy and meditation in the class? Sivananda Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Raja Yoga will probably be best for this.
Would you like a varied routine that focuses on flexbility, relaxation and meditation? Hatha Yoga, the original yoga, will be best for this.
Are you looking for remedial yoga to alleviate or to cure chronic pain, recover from illness? Firstly, consider a 1-2-1 class. If this isn't financially possible then try a Viniyoga or Somatic Yoga class. Other classes may also be suitable but you will need to discuss with your teacher.
And finally, should I choose an independent teacher or go to a large Studio?
This question isn't as simple as it appears. A large Studio may have discounts and sign up offers with lots of different types of yoga you can try. This is perfect if you are getting started as it allows you to find out which style is best for you and if you miss an evening you can always switch for another. As time goes on and you have found the style you like the other classes become less important and you may find that there is a lack of continuity in larger studios with timetables changing and teachers being substituted. An independent teacher cannot offer the same variety but if you like their style then this won't matter and you are more likely to get just the class you want every time you go. Developing a relationship with an individual teacher means that you may receive discounts specific to you over time that a large Studio will never offer. It also means that if you wish to progress your yoga to teacher training then you have a solid relationship with a person who can help you on this path.
This is not at all an exhaustive list, but I hope it will help a little. If you have any questions about which kind of yoga class will be right for you this september feel free to send an email to email@example.com, find us on Facebook or use the comment section of the blog.
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